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Sophie Devine fires up to crack top century

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012

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For all Sophie Devine's remarkable sporting feats, her effort at Mt Maunganui's Bay Oval on Saturday was hard to top.

A week after scoring her first century for Wellington, against the Central Hinds, Devine blasted 10 sixes in a staggering assault on the Northern Spirit bowling attack, scoring 137 not out off 73 balls in a one-day match.

"It was one of those days where everything came off and I had a bit of luck on my side," Devine said. "There was a bit of a wind and I just knew where my scoring zones were and stuck to them. It just seemed to be flying out of the middle."

Devine's ton, with help from Lucy Doolan's 65 and big-hitting Australian import Asha Smith's 61, saw the Blaze rack up 322-4 off their 50 overs. Rebecca Burns (2-33) led the way with the ball as Northern fell 60 runs short.

Devine, a White Ferns all-rounder, has 393 runs at 98.25 in six domestic innings after being given the captaincy this season.

"A similar run to [Australian captain] Michael Clarke would be nice," Devine quipped.

It wasn't all plain sailing, though, as the Blaze had a win and a loss from their two 50-over games at the weekend. It was the same against Central last week.

"It's just about finding consistency in all the disciplines.

"[Yesterday] we bowled really well and restricted them to a par score on a good deck," Devine said. "If we'd batted 50 overs, we would have won. We need to show a bit of pride . . . to make sure we're there at the end."

Yesterday, the Blaze restricted Northern to 243-3 after centuries from Nicola Browne and Natalie Dodd. But Devine's 40 was the Blaze's top score and they were skittled for 207 in 42.5 overs. It left Wellington fourth on the one-day table, while they are joint leaders with Canterbury in the Twenty20 competition with two wins from two.

They successfully defended 144-4 on Friday to win by 10 runs. Canterbury, who also have a 2-2 one-day record, play the Blaze at Tawa's Linden Park this weekend, starting with a Twenty20 on Friday.

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- The Dominion Post

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